Battle of the Week, Rookie Report

Demaryius Thomas, Denver's top draft pick, is the real deal.

BATTLE OF THE WEEK: Josh McDaniels had promised a liberal rotation at some of the offensive line spots but that really hasn't materialized. Rookies Zane Beadles and J.D. Walton have gotten all of the snaps at left guard and center, respectively. Russ Hochstein has remained a reserve, backing up Walton with the second unit and playing right guard with the No. 3s. This may just be a case of knowing what you have in Hochstein. But more likely Denver sees Hochstein as a valuable swing reserve and Walton and Beadles better fits for the power-based blocking scheme the Broncos are installing this season.

OTHER BATTLE FRONTS: Darcel McBath is the clear No. 3 safety behind Brian Dawkins and Renaldo Hill and likely will see action in some heavy dime and nickel packages. ... Cox has flashed playmaking ability with several interceptions and is a lock for the roster. ... Hall and Ball have split carries as the No. 1 tailback.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: WR Demaryius Thomas -- Thomas, Denver's top draft pick, is the real deal. He initially looked rusty coming off of foot surgery during a brief appearance in minicamps, but his fluidity and playmaking have increased with time. Thomas has a chance to be a beast on jump-ball plays, demonstrating that skill set again and again once he got his feet wet in camp. He's not only performing against reserves but starters as he begins to assimilate the offense better.

Thomas has been meeting daily with his position coach, reviewing film and the playbook to get up to speed, a process that was expected to be complicated by the fact that his Georgia Tech offense in college didn't ask much of its receivers in terms of its variety of routes.

"I was a little worried when I kind of heard about that stuff," Orton said. "But he's really picked it up nice. He doesn't ask a whole lot of questions in the huddle and kind of knows what he's doing. He's made mistakes like every rookie does, like everybody does. But I'm pleased with how he's coming along."

The biggest hurdle for Thomas is immediately locking in on his assignments when the play is changed at the line of scrimmage.

But the athleticism has been there. The only worry was when Thomas came down awkwardly after a grab when he used his physical skills to go high above two defenders for a TD.

"The main thing I was worried about most of the time was just getting off the press but I've been working on it and I'm better. I'm fine," Thomas said.

ROOKIE REPORT: QB Tim Tebow has been the constant center of attention at camp and is a work in progress with the passing game. His footwork and mechanics are still concerns at times but he could factor as a runner in 'Wildcat' looks, an obvious strength ... WR Eric Decker's reputation as having glue-like hands hasn't exactly materialized early in camp. He's had a several drops or failed to snare tough catches on poorly thrown balls. But he does not waver going into traffic for passes. ... Eric Olsen may have an uphill battle to crack the roster, the way he's been used to date. ... C J.D. Walton's assimilation of Denver's offense as a rookie has been impressive, a benefit of having played in a similar system at Baylor. If he can handle the physical aspects he'll be fine.

INJURY REPORT: NT Chris Baker and LB D.J. Williams (unspecified) missed nearly all of the first week of camp with unspecified ailments. McDaniels has said Williams is "fine" but won't address the nature of the injury.

--RB Correll Buckhalter (back) was injured in the first 7-on-7 drill. His status hasn't been publicly announced by the team but there have been reports that he could practice prior to the first preseason game

--C Dustin Fry (unspecified) has sat out several recent workouts.

--LB Elvis Dumervil's torn pectoral muscle will need surgical repair and the timetable for his recovery is at least several months. The team has not officially decided to place him on injured reserve but that's the likely move eventually.

--RG Chris Kuper (sprained ankle) walked off the field under his own power Aug. 5 and missed several subsequent workouts.

--RB Knowshon Moreno suffered a hamstring tear, the severity of which isn't publicly known. There is some hope he'll be back this month but the team will proceed cautiously with its No. 1 back in attempting to get him back healthy for the season-opener.

--LB Jarvis Moss had surgery to repair a broken bone in his right hand and will be sidelined indefinitely. He should be able to practice with a bulky cast once the bone heals within the next couple of weeks.

--WR Demaryius Thomas appeared to injure his surgically repaired left foot or left ankle during a team scrimmage Saturday night after catching a TD pass. He was to be re-evaluated.



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